DOCSIS 3.0 in the Neighbourhood Cable

Neighbourhood Cable to upgrade its regional Victoria network to DOCSIS 3.0

TranACT subsidiary, Neighbourhood Cable, has announced a nine-month plan to upgrade its hybrid fibre and coaxial (HFC) network to Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification 3.0 (DOCSIS 3.0).

NCPL's HFC upgrade is expected to increase download speeds from 30Mbps to 100Mbps, allowing NCPL to switch its Pay TV platform to digital and is expected to generate additional direct employment. The rollout follows similar moves to DOCSIS 3.0 by Telstra and Optus in 2009.

While Neighbourhood's upgrade plan is expected to be completed in February 2011, the company is expecting to provide its first higher speed services in late 2010. Neighbourhood chief executive officer, Ivan Slavich said that the speeds provided by the new specifications reached up to 160Mbps during testing and were equivalent to that of the National Broadband Network (NBN). Slavich said that he disagreed with several of the references in the National Broadband Network (NBN) implementation study to plans of deactivating HFC networks over time.

"We have no intention of deactivating our network and we have every intention of continuing to upgrade our network." Slavich said, "HFC is massive in the United States, reaching speeds of up to 350 Mbps. For there to be a suggestion that there is no upgrade path for HFC is just lunacy."

Slavich told Computerworld Australia that Neighbourhood would be more than willing to have a discussion with NBN Co about the possible leasing of their infrastructure provided the outcome would be beneficial to their shareholders.

The Victorian telco says it has been the only commercial broadband provider to regional towns Ballarat, Geelong and Mildura since 1997.

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